La Salle sweeps Ateneo to capture UAAP Season 79 crown
De La Salle romped to the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball crown with a 79-72 triumph over Ateneo to complete the Finals sweep Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Green Archers, who went 13-1 in the elimination round, added a ninth title—second in the last four years–to their quiver to become the third-winningest team in UAAP basketball history.
“Sobrang hirap nito. Ang daming pressure pero ayaw magpatalo ng players and coaches,” said coach Aldin Ayo.
Jeron Teng carried La Salle with a season-high 28 points and three rebounds in game 2, a performance worthy of the the Finals Most Valuable Player award.
Season MVP Ben Mbala also ended his dominating year with 18 markers and 10 boards in the clincher in front of 17,495 in attendance.
The Green Archers set the tone early, with Teng taking charge in the first half as 19 points paved for a 45-35 lead.
But the Blue Eagles refused to go down, staying within striking distance for the rest of the way.
La Salle, however, won’t be denied with Mbala securing the win with a thunderous dunk within the final two minutes.
Mike Nieto topped Ateneo with 18 points and three rebounds, while Adrian Wong and Raffy Verano got 10 in the loss.
LA SALLE 79 – Teng 28, Mbala 18, Montalbo 9, Melecio 7, Caracut 5, Perkins 4, Torres 3, Tratter 2, P. Rivero 2, Sargent 1.
ATENEO 72 – Mi. Nieto 18, Wong 10, Verano 10, Asistio 9, Go 8, Ikeh 6, Ma. Nieto 4, Ravena 3, Black 2, Tolentino 2, Porter 0, Babilonia 0.
Quarters: 22-16, 45-35, 59-52, 79-72.